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Author Topic: the tube will soon be cashless  (Read 819 times)
infoman
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« on: October 07, 2020, 10:11:14 am »

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/tube-london-cashless-andy-byford-a4560826.html
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2020, 12:47:17 pm »

They haven't taken cash on buses for years, AFAIK, so this seems a logical step. I don't think the concerns raised of fare evasion are realistic; it's getting through the barriers without paying that constitutes fare evasion, not the handing over of cash. Oyster and contactless mean most people won't have a physical ticket anyway (if they still exist?) so nothing changes there.

The concern about the unbanked, of which school children probably constitute the largest section, is more realistic IMO. But as the article says, cash will still be taken for Oyster at shops. This is the way many public transport systems have operated for decades, since before card payment was common and contactless payments were even invented, so it's not really a problem. And those same kids have somehow been travelling by cashless bus all this time.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2020, 03:23:40 pm »

Having said that, a counter-word. The article gave a figure for percentage of Tube journeys currently paid by cash. It was extremely small, in the low single digits. An equally if not more valid figure would be the percentage of people who never or very rarely travel by Tube but would do so if it were easy to pay by cash. This would be hard to ascertain though, I think many people would tend to say "Of course I'd take the Tube if only I could (pay by cash/take my dog/get a free ice cream)" but would not actually take the opportunity if it were there. You could, I suppose, look at the percentages for something more easily ascertained, eg supermarket takings, and make some extrapolation.
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2020, 09:35:10 pm »

Covid is driving us more cashless every day, I cannot remember the last time in the past 5 months when I've actually made an over the counter cash transaction; its all been by card
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2020, 10:13:44 pm »

They haven't taken cash on buses for years, AFAIK, so this seems a logical step. I don't think the concerns raised of fare evasion are realistic; it's getting through the barriers without paying that constitutes fare evasion, not the handing over of cash. Oyster and contactless mean most people won't have a physical ticket anyway (if they still exist?) so nothing changes there.

The concern about the unbanked, of which school children probably constitute the largest section, is more realistic IMO. But as the article says, cash will still be taken for Oyster at shops. This is the way many public transport systems have operated for decades, since before card payment was common and contactless payments were even invented, so it's not really a problem. And those same kids have somehow been travelling by cashless bus all this time.

How many systems have no option to put cash in a machine? I can see why TfL want to do this, as servicing and securing machines costs money. But while it may be inevitable, I think it is precisely the wrong time to do it. For the few people that do still need to use cash, the safest place to do it is in a machine. And with such small amounts involved, machines don't need to recycle change. So the partial withdrawal earlier this year was misguided; best to put it off until next year (or whenever).
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Jamsdad
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2020, 09:27:03 am »

Makes sense to me. My only grumble is the near impossibility to get my Senior Railcard linked to Oyster, meaning I have to pay a significant supplement on any London area train/tube travel.
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Reginald25
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2020, 09:36:43 am »

They haven't taken cash on buses for years, AFAIK, so this seems a logical step. I don't think the concerns raised of fare evasion are realistic; it's getting through the barriers without paying that constitutes fare evasion, not the handing over of cash. Oyster and contactless mean most people won't have a physical ticket anyway (if they still exist?) so nothing changes there.


London is a special case with Oyster, and also a few other local areas have some form of Smart card. But that's not true of many areas, where the driver will take cash (possibly some Covid changes but cash still accepted).
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 11:03:33 am by Reginald25 » Logged
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2020, 12:39:42 pm »

They haven't taken cash on buses for years, AFAIK, so this seems a logical step. I don't think the concerns raised of fare evasion are realistic; it's getting through the barriers without paying that constitutes fare evasion, not the handing over of cash. Oyster and contactless mean most people won't have a physical ticket anyway (if they still exist?) so nothing changes there.


London is a special case with Oyster, and also a few other local areas have some form of Smart card. But that's not true of many areas, where the driver will take cash (possibly some Covid changes but cash still accepted).
Yes, I was thinking specifically of TfL buses but perhaps that wasn't entirely clear.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2020, 12:48:27 pm »

They haven't taken cash on buses for years, AFAIK, so this seems a logical step. I don't think the concerns raised of fare evasion are realistic; it's getting through the barriers without paying that constitutes fare evasion, not the handing over of cash. Oyster and contactless mean most people won't have a physical ticket anyway (if they still exist?) so nothing changes there.

The concern about the unbanked, of which school children probably constitute the largest section, is more realistic IMO. But as the article says, cash will still be taken for Oyster at shops. This is the way many public transport systems have operated for decades, since before card payment was common and contactless payments were even invented, so it's not really a problem. And those same kids have somehow been travelling by cashless bus all this time.

How many systems have no option to put cash in a machine? I can see why TfL want to do this, as servicing and securing machines costs money. But while it may be inevitable, I think it is precisely the wrong time to do it. For the few people that do still need to use cash, the safest place to do it is in a machine. And with such small amounts involved, machines don't need to recycle change. So the partial withdrawal earlier this year was misguided; best to put it off until next year (or whenever).
That makes sense for the tube, where you can generally put a ticket vending machine somewhere that it won't cause an obstruction but there will be staff around if needed. For buses, it's more of a problem. If you put the machines at stops, they'll be liable to vandalism. On the bus itself, you'd have to put it near the entrance in order to be accessible to all passengers, and then you're back to the situation where one passenger causes a queue, delaying the bus. In the long term, the aim is surely not just to stop handling cash but to move away from paper tickets. Which is not without its own issues of course.
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paul7755
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2020, 01:04:18 pm »

Makes sense to me. My only grumble is the near impossibility to get my Senior Railcard linked to Oyster, meaning I have to pay a significant supplement on any London area train/tube travel.
What is the ?near impossibility??  I got mine linked in about 30 seconds at a zone 1 station simply by asking staff to do it - they used their staff login at a normal LU ticket machine?  I?m told it can be done at any LU manned station.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2020, 11:58:20 am »

Covid is driving us more cashless every day, I cannot remember the last time in the past 5 months when I've actually made an over the counter cash transaction; its all been by card

The only shop in my neck of the woods that steadfastly refuses to accept cards is my barber.  Even the local chip shop accepts cards for a small bag of chips!

And yes I agree that COVID is accellerating a process that has been quietly going on in the backgound for years. Think back if you will to the 1970s when most large orgaisantions were still paying their workforce weekly in cash (like most railway staff in those days). The security issues involved in moving that amount of cash around were immense, and of course criminals carrying out Payroll Jobs were not uncommon.

I am afraid that whether we like it or not, widespread cash use is on its way out and we have already seen examples of the side effects of this such as closure of local Post Offices and banks.

There comes a point when even those who don't like it have to adapt to the new inevitable. I am reminded of that famous vox pop at the time of decimalisation when somebody said "We shouldn't change until all the old people die"
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2020, 08:08:48 pm »

I enjoyed explaining to my kids what a wage packet actually looked like and how clever it was. A sealed manila envelope with a small corner cut off so you could count the notes sticking out and a clear window in the front where the coins could be counted. Problem with the amount, and you could dispute it with the wage clerk with the seal intact.
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